I caught up with author Jake Biondi for a between-the-pages look at Season 9 of his Boystown series.
Is Boystown the type of series that you need to read from the very beginning in order to understand what’s going on, or could new readers jump straight into the story by picking up Season 9?
Boystown is a dramatic thriller about the rival Mancini and Ciancio families living in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood. Because the story lines build from one another and contain many twists, turns, and cliffhangers, it’s best to start from the very beginning.
Season 8 saw a number of couples at major crossroads in their relationships – are we going to get some happy-ever-after endings in Season 9?
Boystown Season 9 picks up where Season 8 left off and continues to follow the relationships of the audience’s favorite characters. Without giving too much away, I can preview that some couples do finally achieve their happy-ever-afters, while others continue to struggle. In fact, Season 9 includes two weddings that readers won’t see coming!
You’ve said that the character of Victor DelVecchio is based on one of your friends. Do you find that your friends and family are subtly auditioning to see themselves represented in the Boystown series?
My friends often joke that some of their relationships or choices will probably end up in Boystown one way or another. I try to relieve their anxiety by reminding them that, while some characters and stories are inspired by real life people and situations, ultimately everything is the Boystown series is highly fictionalized. Readers have come to expect crazy dramatic situations in the series so even events rooted in real-life have to be exaggerated and enhanced for entertainment purposes.
Season 8 had us in the midst of a murder-mystery. Are there any soap opera or telenovella plot devices that you haven’t explored yet?
There are certain soap opera plot devices that can’t be avoided. In fact, readers expect them. What I try to do with Boystown is twist traditional devices in a way that makes them new and refreshing for the readers. While Boystown has included situations like amnesia and identical twins, I have tried to present them in a way that fans might not expect so that the series continues to be as unpredictable as possible. For example, the ending of Season 9 is unlike anything previously done anywhere else in the Boystown series and I think fans are really going to enjoy it – even though they may hate me for it.
Have you got more Boystown stories to tell?
Boystown will continue as long as the fans want it to. I already have the major story lines for Season 10 circulating in my mind and will begin to write them down soon. There are always more stories to tell and more twists to create. As long as the readers keep asking me for more Boystown, the series will continue.
What do you hope that people feel when they’re reading Boystown?
My main goal for Boystown is fun. It’s ‘escape’ reading. I hope the series gives readers a chance to get away from the stress and anxiety of real life and connect with characters that they enjoy. While I know fans love all the crazy twists and turns of the series, I truly believe that the characters are what draw readers back over and over again. They are dedicated to these characters and want to see what’s next in store for them. I, too, have connected with the Boystown characters; they’re a part of me and I care about all of them. I’m always thrilled when I hear from fans who are loving the series and can talk in depth about the characters who matter most to them.